Adoptees’ psychosocial well-being in the context of parent-child relationship: What is the best protective factor?

Sonia Ranieri, Rosa Rosnati, Daniela Barni, Laura Ferrari, Elena Camilla Rosa Canzi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


Research guided by the perspective of risk and resilience and the catch-up model has well shown that adoption may represent a “protective factor”, providing an effective alternative for the healthy development for children whose biological parents cannot take care of them (Van Ijzendoorn & Juffer, 2006; Whitten & Weaver, 2010). However, little is still known about the contexts which support children’s recovery after adoption and improve their lifelong well-being. Family has been identified as a source of resilience, triggering noteworthy improvements in adopted children. In particular, family processes and relational quality turned out to be more relevant for the adoptees’ development than family structure (Landsford, Ceballo, Abbey, & Stewart, 2001; Palacios & Brodzinsky, 2010; Rueter, Keyes, Iacono, & McGue, 2009). The influence of parent-child relationships on adolescent development has been deeply studied, documenting that warm, open, and supportive relationships are related to positive psychosocial well-being and conflictual relationships to more negative outcomes. With regard to the adoption field as well, there is a growing evidence that a good quality of parent-child relationship promotes children’s psychosocial well-being also during adolescence and the transition to adulthood (Palacios & Sanchez-Sandoval, 2005; Rueter et al., 2009; Whitten & Weaver, 2010). Well-being may be considered as a multifaceted and dynamic concept, that includes subjective, psychological, and social dimensions, such as self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery and autonomy in thought and action (Ryff, 1989). This study focused on the psychosocial well-being of Italian internationally adopted adolescents and emerging adults in the context of parent-child relationships. Specifically, the aim was twofold: 1) to assess the adoptees’ psychosocial well-being in terms of individual psychological functioning and social competence, and some key dimensions of parent-child relationship quality (low-conflict, promotion of volitional functioning, adoption-related family communication), comparing adolescents’ perceptions of maternal and paternal bonds, and taking into account adolescents’ gender and age; 2) to examine, through dominance analysis (Budescu, 1993), the relative importance of different dimensions of parent-child relationship quality for adoptees’ well-being. Participants were 160 Italian adoptive family triads (father, mother, and one internationally adopted child aged between 15 and 24), for a total of 480 subjects. The instrument used was a self-report questionnaire. Data analyses are still in progress and the results will be discussed in relation to implications for intervention with adoptive parents and for adoption related organizations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteInternational Conference on Adoption Research ICAR4. Book of abstracts.
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
EventoInternational Conference on Adoption Research ICAR4. - Bilbao
Durata: 7 lug 201311 lug 2013


ConvegnoInternational Conference on Adoption Research ICAR4.


  • Adoption
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Psychosocial well-being


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